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The European Commission ruled on March 6 that the US software giant will have to pay a fine of €561m, the equivalent of 1 per cent of its annual sales.

Microsoft is being punished for not respecting commitments it made to the EU. Following a European Commission investigation of possible abuse of the firm’s dominant market position, Microsoft pledged in 2009 to allow Windows users a choice between competing web browsers. However, when the operating system was later updated, the choice of alternatives had disappeared.

The company has already announced that it will not file an appeal against the antitrust ruling.